In January of 2014, we posted an article about the importance of having an introductory course at your affiliate before allowing inexperienced people jump into your group classes. Different gyms often call these programs Foundations, On-Ramp, or Elements. While the ethos of our argument behind having this program holds steady, we've since revised our Foundations template and want to provide you with our most current version as well as some of our goals coming into it. As always, the spirit of Inside the Affiliate is to be a free, open-source resource for the CrossFit community. If you like our template, steal it and make it better!
Before going into the details of the template, here is a quick recap of our overarching goals for the programming template:
1. Through the six classes, expose participants to the all of the staples movements they'll be expected to be familiar with in group classes. This includes explaining every movement from top to bottom, providing scaling and modification options where appropriate and getting everyone's "starting weights" on all the barbell lifts. Then, people can go into group class familiar with the basic execution of each movement, knowing what loads they can start with and move on from.
2. Format the class such that it reflects the basic structure of a group class:
Dynamic range of motion (DROMS)
Standardized warmup-style couple or triplet
Focus lift or lifts
Similarly, we want to provide most of the common workout formats people will encounter in group class, which helps demystify our reviews of workouts at the whiteboard. (Common workout formats being time priority, task priority, every-minute-on-the-minute work, etc.) This makes the transition to group class a bit more seamless and less intimidating if it's an extension of their Foundations experience.
3. Program with as much redundancy as possible from class to class, such that people get multiple exposures to the most fundamental movements throughout the course. We do this by repeating movements from previous classes in the warm-up couplets and triplets. The more practice they get on these movements, the more prepared and confident they'll be for the group class environment.
4. Beyond the "how,” use Foundations as an opportunity to explain the "why" we do what we do, which helps encourage good training habits to optimize their success moving forward. Examples of this include discussing how to listen to your body, training with the long view of gradual improvement, how to approach a lifting segment, how to do pre-class movement prep, why we program the way we do, and providing access to other helpful resources for them to dig into.